Hamptons Hot Picks for the Weekend


“Montauk Top” by Dawn Watson.

It’s Friday. And that means it’s Hot Picks time.

Topping my personal list for the weekend is the opening of “Natural Abstractions + Landscape Loves” at the Montauk Library tonight, Friday, March 24, from 6 to 8 p.m., since it’s my show and all.  Please come if you can make it. Check out some of my newest work here. 

Portrait of Michael Holman by Rob Northway_shot in livingroom

Also tonight, which I’m sad to have to miss, is “Confessions of a Subculturalist,” written and performed by Michael Holman, at the Southampton Arts Center at 7 p.m.  Get tickets here. Tomorrow night at the SAC, it’s a “Live” show with Nilson Matta’s Brazilian Voyage Trio, presented with The Jam Session, starting at 7 p.m. Click here for music tickets. 

And since we’re on the subject of theater and the performing arts, be sure to get your tickets for “Imagination,” now staging in Quogue courtesy the Hampton Theatre Company. It looks like a really good romantic thriller. Can’t wait to see it.

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Want some art by the late, great Don Saco? Saturday is the perfect day to pick up work from this true gentleman who was also  a commanding artist. Stop by 117 Cobb Isle Road in Water Mill starting at noon for an arts estate sale of his work.


And don’t let the title fool you (it nearly slipped past me, I’ll admit it), there’s what I’m sure will be a great reading of “May 39th” with the talented Chloe Dirksen and J. Stephen Brantley at the Malia Mills pop-up gallery in East Hampton on Saturday night too. Cool.

May 39 big1


Also on Saturday afternoon,  the Watermill Center will host an opening reception for William Stewart’s “Works on Paper” from 2 to 4 p.m.

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Then on  Saturday night, there’s a fundraiser at the Southampton Publick House for our friends at Our Fabulous Variety Show.

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And Saturday also marks the grand reopening of RJD Gallery, formerly of Sag Harbor and now on Main Street in Bridgehampton. The big to-do, which will feature lots of great art, plus cocktails, music and mingling,  starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m. Especially now, I’ so glad to see art, and that comes with it, rising from the ashes. Literally in this case.







Also on Saturday, the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center is hosting  award-winning songwriter and local favorite Gene Casey, who will give a concert at 8 p.m. in celebration of his newest album.



On Sunday at 6 p.m.,  Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor continuing 25 Years of Cinema with the Hamptons International Film Festival by screening one of my very favorite true-crime movies ever–“Heavenly Creatures.” Among other things, including budding lesbian love and matricide, it’s a film that marks the very first time I ever saw Kate Winslet on film. She is EXTRAORDINARY in this movie. If you haven’t seen it, make sure you catch it on Sunday or sometime soon.

It’s also the last Sunday Salon time of chanting, ayurvedic food and meditation with Kate Rabinowitz and Rameshwar Das in Bridgehampton. Here are the details for that:



And lastly, don’t forget that next week is East End Restaurant Week. Yum!  Click here to see the list of participating restaurants.


Get Your Good News Gossip

Regular readers, and practically anyone who’s ever met me, know that I’m not a big fan of the snark. There are plenty out there who are, but I prefer to be more of a celebrator of the good things in life. Heck, that’s pretty much the founding principle of this blog. It’s also the impetus behind one of a series of columns–Hamptons Habitues–that I’m now writing for Hamptons Real Estate Showcase, for which I’m thrilled to be an Editor at Large. Yay! Hope you enjoy reading this column as much as I enjoyed writing it. If so, please also also check out my Haute Spot interview with Jill Rappaport and Long Distance Love  featuring PJ and Joe Delia, Lucette Lagnado and Doug Feiden, and some tasty morsels about Ina and Jeffrey Garten in the Presidents Day issue, now on newsstands all over the East End.



Photos: Concert for Dogs at LongHouse


Dawn Watson photos.

This past Saturday brought us  one of the most unique and fun events in a long time when Laurie Anderson brought her “Concert for Dogs” to LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton. The world-renowned avant-garde artist, composer, musician and film director put on her canine concert alongside cellist Rubin Kodheli.

Lots and lots of dog lovers, including some pretty famous ones in the art world, brought their beloved pooches to the remarkable event,  held in the LongHouse amphitheater on the Reserve’s 16-acre grounds.

A share of the proceeds from the Concert for Dogs benefitted ARF, aka the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, a charity dedicated to providing for the welfare of animals on the South Fork of Long Island. The concert was followed by a reception in the gardens, where pups and their owners enjoyed refreshments amongst the lush grounds. It was the first time that dogs were welcomed to LongHouse.

All photos by Dawn Watson.



Stop by the Opening for My New Show on Sunday


“Solace Seekers” by Dawn Watson

“Blue, Green & East End All Over,” a solo photographic exhibition by Dawn Watson, opens with a reception on Sunday, July 10, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Hampton Library in Bridgehampton. Stop by and check it out. Can’t make the preview? The show hangs through the end of August.

To further whet your appetite, here are a few of the images that are included in the show.


Want to see more? Click my photo site here.

Still curious? Then read this wonderful feature, written by Michelle Trauring for the Sag Harbor Express. I might be biased but I think it’s a heck of a fantastic read!  : )

Hope to see you on Sunday!

Hamptons Hot Picks: April 16 & 17


This is one of my photos that is currently on view at the Montauk Library.    DAWN WATSON

It’s most definitely a good time for the arts in the Hamptons this weekend. There are so many really great things to do, including a reception for my “Love of the Land (and Sea)” photography exhibit at the Montauk Library on Sunday, April 17, from 2:30 to 4:30. Yay! Please stop by. The show hangs through the end of April.

On Saturday, April 16, it’s the final Farmer’s Market of the season at Topping Rose in Bridgehampton. The word renowned luxury hotel is bringing together some of the best artisans and purveyors on the East End. Stop by the Barn and Studio from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. to shop for goods, products and wares from local farmers and artists.


 Also on Saturday, the Southampton Historical Museum is hosting “Grandpa, Pop & Me: The Wonder of Windmills” family program at 11 a.m. at Rogers Mansion in Southampton. Learn about the significance of windmills on Long Island and make your very own windmill. A take-home handout of Long Island windmills will be provided.

At the East Hampton Library, the second annual Tom Twomey series kicks off at 5 p.m. with a presentation on Colonial Commerce. Frank Sorrentino and Steve Russell Boerner will lead a fascinating exploration of a new transcription project that involves the account books, journals, ledgers, and documents of Culper Spy Ring member Robert Townsend (1753-1838) of Oyster Bay, housed in the Library’s Long Island Collection.

July 201140" x 64"

Steve Miller’s art is on view at Sara Nightingale Gallery in Water Mill. 

Sara Nightingale Gallery in Water Mill is hosting a reception for Steve Miller’s “Your Version, My Version” from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The show will run through May 15.

The Parrish Art Museum’s annual Spring Fling will be held on Saturday, April 16, from 7:30 to 11 p.m. The event will feature live music by NOIZ, hors d’oeuvres and an open bar by Southampton Social Club and the annual gallery hunt.

On the North Fork, Alex Ferrone will host a spring reception for her “Aerial Observations” series at her Cutchogue Gallery on Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m.


Sunday, April 17, brings us Spring Doc Day from the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor from noon to 7 p.m. Three animal-themed docs will be screened, including: “The Internet Cat Video Festival,” “The Messenger” and “The Champions.” Read more here from the Sag Harbor Express.

 The Watermill Center is hosting a brunch from noon to 2:30 as part of its International Brunch Series, which kicks off with Compañía Acción Residente, a performance group from Chile.

Guild Hall is opening up its doors for a free Artists in Residence Showcase from 4 to 6 p.m. Meet novelist Iris Smylles, poet Tom Yuill, visual artists Jennifer Hsu and James Wang and painter Arcmanoro Niles. RSVP here.

Loxahatchee by Roxanne Panero

“Loxahatchee” by Roxanne Panero.

The Southampton Cultural Center is hosting a reception for “East End Realists” from 4 to 6 p.m. The group show incudes: : Lucille Berrill Paulsen, David Paulsen, Pam Thomson, Peter Beston, Roxanne Panero, Jane Kirkwood, Aubrey Grainger, Keith Mantell and Ann Lombardo and is on view through May 23.

And lastly, the final “Long Island Grown” presentation from the Peconic Land Trust will be held at Bridge Gardens in Bridgehampton at 2 p.m. The series aptly ends with “The Dessert,: featuring Alexander Damianos of DuckWalk Vineyards , Patricia DiVello of Patty’s Berries and Bunches, and Tom Wickham of Wickham’s Fruit Farm.



Road Tripping with Tesla

Road Tripping with Tesla

Yesterday I test-drove the new Tesla S85. Man it was cool.
Having never been all that interested in cars, I was totally taken aback at how much I loved this one. Not really into labels or status, my biggest concern when buying a car is whether or not I like it, that it has heated seats, and feels safe and solid. When people ask me about cars, I inevitably identify them by color, not make or model. Actually, I get confused by which one is ‘make’ and which one is ‘model.’ I know, it’s embarrassing. Suffice to say, cars have just not really been my thing. Until yesterday.
Thanks to Jeffrey Cuje, Tesla’s Regional Ownership Advisor for The Hamptons, I got behind the wheel of a large automobile. And then, after hitting 60 mph in approximately 5 seconds, I did ask myself, “My God, how did I get here?”
Actually, in the moment, I wasn’t all that clever, nor did I have time to quote the Talking Heads. Instead, Jeff said, “Now put the ‘go pedal’ (not gas, it’s completely electric) to the floor.” I did. Then I couldn’t help but scream “Holy shit!” Pardon the language but that’s exactly what happened. I have never, ever been in a car so fast, so quick, or so responsive. It was unexpected, and exhilarating. I immediately wanted to do it again.
Here are a few cool things about the Tesla: Everybody is interested in this car. It took forever for us to get out of Sag Harbor Village because people kept coming up to admire it. The Tesla can go from 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds. Our model (not the big-daddy sportster) took an extra second, but I didn’t notice. There is no engine. There is no transmission. There is no gas or oil. It’s totally electric. Think about that. No clutch. There is no gas pedal, it’s a ‘go pedal.’ There are no miles per gallon, there are ‘miles to charge.’ You can drive 265 miles on a charge and it takes 30 minutes to recharge at a charging station or 2 hours for 60 miles plugged in to a 220-volt charge from home. It’s so quiet you literally can’t tell that it’s on even when you’re standing next to it or sitting inside it. The car turns on when it senses your weight in the seat and then turns off seconds after you exit. You can use the touch screen (like an iPad) to hydraulically lower and raise the car when you’re in it–to take turns on a dime or to compensate for rugged terrain–and to pull up maps, etc. The price ranges from $70,000 to $130,000, depending on the model.
One of the weirdest things to adjust to when driving a Tesla is how the car immediately starts decelerating the moment you take your foot off the ‘go pedal.’ Having driven a manual transmission or two in my day, I kept thinking that I’d stall out when I took my foot off the gas–no, not gas–but of course I didn’t. The other thing that took some getting used to is the fact that there is no gearing or ramping up to accelerate. It was super cool. And crazy fast. But only up to 130 mph (and no, I didn’t really punch it to test the theory), as that’s as much as the law will allow. Theoretically, according to Jeff, without the government restrictions, the Tesla could go so fast that it could break apart from the speed. Wowsa.
Attached photos are by me and my pal Lisa Tamburini, who went along for the drive down to Long Beach and midway to the Shelter Island ferry, and took the wheel herself for a spin too.
Interested in a test drive? Email Jeff at jcuje@teslamotors.com or visit http://www.teslamotors.com/event/test-drive-model-s-hamptons. He’s awesome and I’m forever grateful.
If I can afford it, my next car will definitely be a Tesla.

Excited for the ride.

Excited for the ride.


Don’t tell me that this is too much car for me. I can handle myself.


Behind the wheel of a large automobile.


The touch screen control pad is nothing short of miraculous.


A map of the world, as far as I’m concerned.


Jeff Cuje will be here in the Hamptons with the Tesla through the season.


Taking in the view at Long Beach.


That’s right, we’re bad. Too cool.

Interview with Sheldon and Margery Harnick on Murphy/Watson & Co.

A favorite television interview of mine on Murphy/Watson & Co. with Sheldon Harnick, who wrote the lyrics for “Fiddler on the Roof,” his wife, Margery, and my co-host, Michelle Murphy.
Sheldon has won a Pulitzer and a Tony. He said he turned down the Nobel Prize … because it wasn’t offered to him. Ha! What a doll!
Margery is an accomplished actor, dancer, singer, photographer, etc.
The two together are absolutely marvelous!